Tag: qr codes mobile

QR codes research findings provide best practices for success

Ohio University QR codes researchAn Ohio University professor from the Automatic Information and Data Capture lab is studying scans.

The use of QR codes as an element of mobile marketing has generated considerable controversy as some companies have used them highly successfully, while others have experienced nothing but failures.

It has led some, perhaps prematurely, to write off the potential of these smartphone friendly barcodes.

The director of the Automatic Information and Data Capture lab, a professor named Kevin Berisso at Ohio University, has been examining the use of QR codes and many campaigns in which they have been included, and is now using this ongoing project to assist mobile marketers in developing campaigns that will allow them to get the most out of these barcodes.

The findings that Berisso has produced includes recommendations for the best use of QR codes.

To start, Berisso has pointed out that it is important to make sure that if QR codes are chosen as a part of a marketing campaign, that this is done only when the right audience will be targeted. This is because there are certain people who are more likely to make scans than others. For one thing, the barcodes require smartphones in order to be scanned. Those within the age group of 18 to 29 years have a 66 percent likelihood of owning the right type of device. However, those in the 50 to 64 year old age group are far less likely, at 34 percent.

Moreover, Berisso also found that QR codes that are used in a way that tells smartphone users precisely why they want to scan – to receive a discount, to enter a contest, to receive a free offer, etc – are more likely to be scanned and produce results than those that simply lead to a homepage without a specific benefit to the user.

The actual quality of the QR codes in terms of the ability to scan them was also identified as highly important. The correction level needs to be appropriate, but so is the contrast and distinction. Basic black and white are typically best, as they produce the most contrast. Berisso cautioned mobile marketers against using rich black on color ads, as they will make the codes far more difficult to scan – even if they are more appealing to the eye.

The research regarding the use of QR codes is continuing, and the labs are producing lists of helpful recommendations. Primarily it involves being practical and using good common sense.

QR codes can be harmful when precautions aren’t taken

qr codes cautionMobile marketers love these barcodes , but as consumers embrace them, unscrupulous efforts grow.

It’s difficult to open a magazine or a flyer, these days, without seeing QR codes in all of the adds, but just as their popularity grows, so does their attractiveness to unethical individuals who would take advantage of this opportunity to cause harm.

These little black and white codes may look simple enough, but they may now pose an underlying threat.

It took quite a while for consumers to start to feel the enthusiasm for QR codes that mobile marketers have felt from the start. This has meant that individuals who would seek to use them for harmful purposes have left them alone for quite some time. But as the scanning trend continues to grow, so have the hazards associated with the activity.

Malicious QR codes have started to pop up here and there now that the technology has become commonplace.

Though it is still rare for malicious QR codes to appear, they have started showing up on occasion, and their impact can be quite damaging. This is because there are far more mobile device users that have barcode scanners than there are those who have protection against the type of attack that a tainted scan could present.

QR codes are meant to make it easy to redirect a device user to an app or a website to provide information, generate a download, view a video, or even to help buy a product or make a charitable donation. However, when a permissive reader app has been used, even a seemingly harmless scan could place the user’s privacy at risk.

The most common strategy that is used in order to encourage malicious barcode scans is simply to place a sticker with the harmful code overtop of the legitimate square. Therefore, one of the best efforts that a device user can make to protect his or her security is simply to double check that the QR codes they scan are printed directly onto materials from companies that they trust, and aren’t printed onto a sticker. Downloading a scanner app with built in protection is also a highly recommended activity.